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09.10.2013 NEWS

Emil Westman Hertz @ Traneudstillingen

New grants from the Niels Wessel Bagge Arts Foundation for Danish artists

Niels Wessel Bagge Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that five grants at each DKK 100,000,- for each beneficiary will be handed out this year. The grants will be presented at the Louisiana in Bådehuset 22 of October 2013 at 7.30 PM.

AF Christian Alsøe

The following artists will receive the grant this year:  

Emil Westman Hertz
Finn Naur Petersen
Marianne Grønnow
Torben Ribe
Tove Storch

Niels Wessel Bagge Arts Foundation is one of the more significant art funds in Denmark. For the recipient, it is both a considerable sum and an honor to be enrolled in the now long line of renowned winners.  

Additional information including photo and resume on grant recipients can be obtained on request.  

About Niels Wessel Bagge and the Art Foundation:  
Who was Niels Wessel Bagge? Art Collector and patron August Niels Wessel Bagge (1908-1990) was born into a wealthy family in Copenhagen. His father, August Bagge, was managing director of Gyldendal, while his grandfather, Theodor Wessel, was one of the co-founders of Magasin du Nord. After a trip to Paris in 1929, where he met set designer Helge Refn, he gave up his apprenticeship at Gyldendal and his literature studies in favor of a life as a free artist, and became a part of the 1930's dynamic art scene in Paris. In the beginning he worked with interior design, made advertisements and contributions to various periodicals, but it was as a tap dancer and stage designer he became known, first in Paris and then in London. In 1936 he went to Hollywood to work as a film actor, but without much success. Here he married the Hungarian opera diva Gitta Alpar, but the marriage was dissolved in 1953.  

In the 1950s and 60s his interest in art took a new direction as he began to collect art. He made ​​many friends among the West Coast experimental artists, which he also supported financially - directly or indirectly through the purchase of their works. It grew to an impressive collection of works from a time when the American art had become an international benchmark. The collection includes works by internationally renowned artists such as Edward Kienholz, Robert Rauschenberg, Roberto Matta, José Luis Cuevas, Rafael Canogar and Andy Warhol. The collection was donated to the Aarhus Kunstmuseum (now AroS) in 2002.  

The interest in contemporary art also led him back to pre-European civilization in Central and North America. Here the culture flourished from 3000 BC to approx. 1500. He preferred to collect shamanic clay figures and ceramic utensils of a very high artistic standard. There is, however, also works from Africa and the Far Asia in the collection. The entire and extensive collection was at the time housed in Niels Bagge's home in California, but in 2003 it was donated to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.  

In an old age Niels Bagge rediscovered, on his returning travels to Denmark, his childhood friend Helge Refn, who suggested him to establish a fund. Niels Bagge found this idea interesting, and he established the Niels Wessel Bagge Arts Foundation, which after his death continued to support Danish artists through annual grants, funded by proceeds from his fortune. Niels Bagge's good friend, shipowner Ebbe Wedell-Wedellsborg, was installed as sole executor and Chairman of the Foundation. This seat is now occupied by their daughter. There are between five and ten grants per year for artists, each approx. DKK 100,000,-. Directors of the board is currently Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg (chairman) and lawyer Christian Alsøe as well as IT consultant Juri Krasilnikoff and filmmaker Anders Refn, who is the son of Helge Refn.  

For further information please contact: President of the Arts Foundation, Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg tel. 2042 0111 or Christian Alsøe tel. 2428 6801, e-mail ca@gorrissenfederspiel.com

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